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Softwood Timber Grading Unsorted? Vth’s? Sawfalling?

This really threw me for a while. After a visit to a Timber Merchants I came away feeling I was missing out on something.

There's plenty of jargon used used by Timber Merchants, it helps to know some of the "wood speak".

Here’s a distillation of my research since.

Timber / Lumber can be graded in to I, II, III, IV, V, VI, if they where in the 21st century 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. However in the jargon of the timber world, instead of saying “grade five” it’s “fifths” or written as “V” etc.

OK.. got that, on to the next jargon.

Grades I, II and III aren’t actually graded, it’s the IV V VI that are given grades. The first three grades are all lumped together and called “Unsorted” “U/S”. I should think there's a commercial reason for this to the benefit of timber suppliers.

Here’s my rip off story

“ Mr Timber Merchant please tell me what the best grade of softwood you have?”

“The Best Sir, that will be U/S redwood”

“Oh, right, thanks, please deliver me 30m on your lorry”.

Can you guess what happens?
Mr. Timber merchant sends me 30m of U/S redwood, most of it will be III grade, left on the rack after those in the know have been to yard and picked out the best First’s and Second’s
Moral of this story – PICK YOUR OWN!

So that’s grades but what in world of wood is Sawfalling?

Sawfalling most often relates to “Whitewood”. Sawfalling is essentially ungraded but most of the best stuff will have been syphoned off. “Y' pays y’ money 'n' takes y’ choice”


Next- Timber rough sawn ? PSE ? PAR?




Timber / wood for DIY, Woodworking, Joinery, Carpentry

Examples of joinery jobs, softwood types and timber grades

Carpentry and joinery softwood types

Timber Grades, Unsorted ? Vth's ? Sawfalling ?

Timber rough sawn ? PSE ? PAR?

Commonly available rough sawn and PSE / PAR timber sizes

How to choose a Timber Merchant / Supplier

Work out what timber you need for the job

Inspecting wood at the Timber Merchants

Preparing the timber for acclimatising

Planing timber / wood flat, square and true

How to plane up the good pieces of wood

How to plane "diamond" pieces

How to plane Winding or Twisted timber

How to plane bowing on a timber board

How to plane cupped or cupping timber